I have a best friend and we are often on opposite sides of the fence regarding issues going on in the world. She feels one way about politics, me another. She has her beliefs about masks and vaccines and I have mine. And even though we have our differences, our love for each other comes first. Our bond is more important to us than our beliefs and judgments.
We aren’t always comfortable speaking about the topics we don’t agree on. And we’ve learned that even that’s ok. Just the other day, we were in the middle of both trying to be right. I stopped and said, “Ok, what’s going on with you?” And then I just listened. At the end of her share, she said, “I so want us to be on the same side!” And I said, “I know! I feel that way too!” And we laughed. Each holding steady to their own preference.
That need to be right is so subtle. Some people choose friendships based on commonalities only. Some people leave friendships because their points of view don’t sync up. I have done that in the past, have had that done to me and sometimes still have to catch myself from doing it.
The beauty of my friendship with Connie is that having polarized views about things, brings me back to center. Because she is my best friend, I am willing to hear her point of view and ask questions. Because I believe her to be a loving, intelligent and strong woman that thinks and feels deeply about things, I don’t discount her. I listen and know that her opposing views keep me from becoming too militant in my views. It holds me in check and prevents me from thinking of the big issues in the world from an “us and them”’ point of view. When I think about making the other side wrong, I see her beautiful face and it brings me to center.
Having a friendship where I don’t have to agree with someone has been a game changer. Having a friendship where I can’t always be right or we’re not always on the same side is humbling. Having a friendship with someone who is willing to keep holding my hand as we focus on allowing each other their choice and loving them through it means the world to me. This woman continues to show me what being a best friend is.
I like to think that if I keep practicing, I will be able to do this with each person I meet. That’s my ultimate intention.
As of writing this, I am down 13 pounds. Woo hoo!